5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics For Getting Inside Their Heads!

5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics For Getting Inside Their Heads!

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You already understand the importance of knowing how customers feel about your brand. 

But do you know *which* metrics are up to the task?

Today we’re going to look at three of the most important measurements of customer service. Here’s how you can get inside customers’ heads…

5 essential customer satisfaction metrics

1. Customer Satisfaction (CSat)

CSat is basically the default customer satisfaction metric. You can use it to track how generally satisfied customers are with your product or business as a whole. 

How is CSat measured?

CSat is very simple. First, give your customers a scale and ask them to rate your performance. 

The most common scales for CSat are 1-3 and 1-5. 

Customer Satisfaction

Next, you divide the positive responses by the total number of responses and multiply by 100. That gives you a percentage, representing the percentage of satisfied customers. 

What’s a positive response?

You can’t go wrong with a smiley face / frowny face – that’s universal. 

On a numbered 1-3 scale, 3 is a positive response. On a 1-5 scale, 4 and 5 are generally considered positive. (There is no widely agreed calculation for this metric.) 

The pros and cons of CSat


  • CSat is quick to discover and easy to understand
  • Good response rates because the question is simple
  • Provides a simple target for service


  • CSat isn’t standardized, so can’t be used for benchmarking
  • Cultural differences mean some user groups consistently score differently
  • Most methods of calculating CSat combine users who gave fairly different scores


Csat is a useful tool to have – but it won’t give you the whole picture! 

You need to determine the best way to calculate CSat for your customers and stick with that scale. Otherwise it will be impossible to track progress over time. 

If you want to do more with your CSat scores, consider customer retention automation. That will help you identify customers who give you low scores… and prevent them from leaving! 

2. Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES is great because it measures something tangible – the amount of work you’re making customers do. Effort often lines up with satisfaction. 

How is CES measured?

To calculate Customer Effort Score, you’ll ask customers how easy it was to do business with you. 

You can measure effort with one of two common approaches. 

A scale of 1-3

Customers have three options: Easy, Neither, Difficult.

You calculate CES by subtracting the customers who responded ‘Easy’ from the customers who responded ‘Difficult’.

You’ll get a score between -100 and +100 (with high positive numbers as your target.)

A scale of 1-5

This is the original CES method, so it’s generally the standard

Customers rate how easy it was to do business with you, rating between 1 (very easy) to 5 (very hard).

Then, you can determine your effort score by dividing the sum of all the scores by the number of respondents. 

Here, the lowest score is the best. (You’re not limited to a 1-5 scale, and some businesses use 1-7 or 1-9.)

Customer effort score

The pros and cons of CES


  • Defines a clear target – lowering effort
  • CES is known to have a strong predictive power for 
  • Can be very granular, measuring the effort of specific types of interaction


  • CES isn’t broad; it’s limited to very specific experiences
  • It’s not standardized so can’t be benchmarked reliably 
  • It doesn’t directly reflect ‘satisfaction’. An easy encounter can still be negative!


CES can be one of the most useful metrics for the inbound call center

It’s very important to know where the friction points are. It’s equally important to have a plan for how you’ll deal with them. (This is where No-Code automation comes in handy…) 

3. Customer Churn Rate (CCR)

Churn rate isn’t generally thought of as a metric of customer satisfaction. But think about it; customer loyalty might be the best way to measure how customers really feel about you. 

How is CCR measured?

Good news! There are no surveys involved in this one – you’re going to use data that you already have. 

That math is pretty simple. You need to know:

  • How many customers you had at the beginning of a defined period*
  • How many customers you had at the end of the defined period
  • How many customers you lost during the defined period

(*The defined period is up to you. Businesses generally look at one financial quarter so that this metric lines up with other financial goals.)

Here’s the equation:

customer churn calculation

What is a good churn rate?

You’ll need to look for benchmarking in your industry to get a reasonable CCR target but most industries stay below 8%.

Of course, this is one target number that you want to bring as low as possible.

The pros and cons of CCR


  • Helps to identify patterns in customer satisfaction
  • Relates closely to revenue
  • Very easy to benchmark


  • Doesn’t signal anything about the value of individual customers
  • Attempts to reduce churn can cost more than the lifetime value of customers
  • Can be tough for non-subscription businesses to track


You can’t run a successful business unless you keep your churn rate in mind. The key thing to remember is that every customer you lose goes to your competition – so you’re really losing twice!

(Boost your all-important customer retention with these autodial software hacks!)

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

No list of customer satisfaction metrics would be complete without NPS. 

Broadly speaking, NPS tells you how highly customers value your service. This is described in terms of how likely they are to recommend you to others. 

How is NPS measured?

There are a few steps to understanding NPS. 

First, you need to ask users a very specific question: “how likely are you to recommend us to friends and family?”

You can change the wording to fit your needs, but you must structure the question around the likelihood of a recommendation!

If you deviate from this, you won’t get a true NPS. 

Customers are going to rate you on a scale from 0 to 10. (One common mistake is going from 1-10. This will also invalidate your results.)

Here’s that scale:

NPS net promoter score

Next, you group the scores into three groups:

1.Detractors – people who are broadly displeased 

2. Passives – people without strong feelings either way

3. Promoters – people you’ve impressed!

Now you have three groups, you’re going to subtract the number of detractors from the number of promoters. (You see it in action in this great NPS calculator.)

If you want to do the calculation manually, it looks like this:

nps calculation

The result is a score between -100 and +100.

The pros and cons of NPS


  • There’s only one NPS so it’s easy to benchmark
  • It’s an easy number to track
  • NPS has been shown to correlate with positive business growth


  • This method can group customers with wildly different experiences (consider a customer who scores you 0 versus one who scores you 6)
  • The core question may work better for certain industries. When a product is extremely niche, customers are less likely to genuinely recommend it
  • There are several ways to reach the same score, which makes it seem arbitrary (see below)

NPS tally

Here are three ways to get an NPS of 25. But which of these three businesses would you rather be?


NPS is more or less mandatory now. There are certainly some good insights to be had, and it’s useful to have a simple score to guide you. 

But it helps to be granular with your score. If you have many detractors, did they mostly give you fives and sixes? Or zeros? 

(Want to perform NPS surveys… affordably? Read ‘4 Quick’n’easy steps to a blended contact center.’)

5. Customer Service Satisfaction (CSS)

CSS is only slightly different from regular CSat, so we won’t spend too much time on it. 

The key difference is CSS only investigates specific interactions – not your business as a whole. 

For example, you can place a CSS question at the end of a phone call, IVR system interaction or webchat. 

How is CSS measured?

Just like CSat, CSS uses a simple scale (most often 1-3 or 1-5).

There are two ways to use the results:

  1. Group the results into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. Divide the positive responses by the total number of responses and divide by 100. The result is the percentage of positive responses. 
  2. Add all the scores together and divide by the total number of responses. The result is the (mean) average score you received. 

The pros and cons of CSS


  • Sums up the quality (over time) of specific touchpoints
  • Generally high participation rate (especially with a 1-3 scale)
  • Can pinpoint highly specific friction points


  • Does not contextualize low scores
  • Can’t tell you anything about broader product concerns
  • Is often blind to multi-channel journeys


CSS is a very useful tool for the contact center. That’s because it can tell you something specific about your service, rather than about product issues beyond your control. 

However, it’s hard to gauge the experience of customers whose interactions crossed several channels – something which is increasingly common. 

Overall, if you want to measure any customer satisfaction metric reliably, you need automation. 

Everything from selecting the best customers, to sending surveys, to compiling responses – you can automate it all. 


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